Stop Medicare from reimbursing COTAs and PTAs at 85% in 2022

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We are working as Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTAs) and are in school to become Occupational Therapists (OTs) at Bay Path University. As many of you know, the therapy cap has been repealed which has removed the hard cap on Medicare outpatient therapy services. With this change came new provisions, one of these provisions made changes to the way COTAs and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) are paid under Medicare Part B. Starting in 2022, OTA and PTA services will be paid at 85% of what is paid for services provided by a therapist (American Occupational Therapy Association, 2018).

The assistants are qualified professionals who are board certified and state licensed. They are required to take continuing education courses to stay up to date with evidence based practice and the most relevant therapy interventions in their field. The OTs and the assistants collaborate throughout a clients case and this provision devalues the assistants role in our field. Many questions arise if Medicare reimburses companies at 85% for assistants. Will this discourage companies from hiring assistants and only hire therapists? Will there be a decrease in assistants rates because they are only reimbursable at 85%? Does Medicare not see assistants as qualified professionals?

Please help us stop this provision before it goes into effect 2022 by signing this petition. It will be sent to New Jersey State Senator, Cory Booker.

 

American Occupational Therapy Association. (2018, February 13). Message Regarding OTA Payment Changes in Budget Bill. Retrieved March 29, 2018, from https://www.aota.org/Advocacy-Policy/Congressional-Affairs/Legislative-Issues-Update/2018/Message-Regarding-OTA-Payment-Changes-in-Budget-Bill.aspx



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